Journeying With Jesus

The Adventure of Faith

You Can’t Hide in a House Church

My wife and I got in a good ole fashion argument on a Monday morning. Both of us found it quite painful. The problem was that it was the busiest week of our lives…we had commitments and meetings all day every day and we couldn’t get to resolving the issues.

Saturday rolled around and we were on our way to our House Gathering. We decided to see if we could work out the issue. Big mistake. About half way there things began to escalate and eventually hit the break down point. My bride had had enough and asked to be taken home. She couldn’t imagine trying to go to the group and pretend. The problem was I was teaching that night.

I pulled over to the side of the road, called the host, told them that we weren’t coming and that we needed to go home and work through an issue we were having. I gave them the passage to be taught and asked them to handle it and to please pray for us. We then turned around, went home, and had three uninterrupted hours to talk, listen, and work through the issue. It was the right move to make.

The next week when we met, we thanked them for flexing for us. Everyone was very accepting; there was no sense of judgment from them. It was hard to admit we have those kinds of days though everyone said they could relate.

A few weeks later, I called one of the members who was teaching the group while we were away. I asked him how it went. He said it was good and bad. I asked him what the “bad” was.

“Oh,” he said, “we had a ‘Gschwend moment.’”

“A ‘Gschwend Moment?’” I asked. “What is that?”

“Oh, you know,” he said, “when you get in a fight with your wife on the way to the gathering…we had one of those. I had to take my wife home.”

I wasn’t sure if I should be honored or offended. A fight with your wife on the way to church was now known as a ‘Gschwend Moment.’ I wondered how long it would take before it was officially in the dictionary. I guess it will show up between the words, “grysbok” and “G-strophanthin.” Nobody wants to be known for fighting with their wife on the way to church…even a house church. On the flip side, it does reflect a level of disclosure and honesty that we want in house churches. I am a leader, my wife is a leader, and we sometimes fight on the way to our gathering. We don’t hide it, we aren’t pretending everything is OK, there are times the wheels come off and we need to stop and work on the wagon. It’s hard to hide in a house church. I find the level of disclosure and honesty both refreshing and challenging. There is something attractive about the authenticity that can be found in many House Churches.

I’m still not sure if I should be offended or honored though.


August 16, 2007 - Posted by | House Church


  1. Dave–

    Thanks for labeling a heretofore common but unmonikered phenomenon. I’m especially impressed that you aspire to no less than the OED!!

    Comment by Kit | August 19, 2007 | Reply

  2. I thought a linguist like you would appreciate that! Dave

    Comment by gschwend | August 19, 2007 | Reply

  3. HI bro Dave,
    THANKS so much for your honesty and transparency as a Christian leader! Very refreshing! We also host a simple gathering in my home in Palo Alto since 2003! I always say, if my wife and I fight before we get to our living room, church ain’t gonna happen that day, until I get right with her! No faking it in when we meet at home, right? Btw, do you have some house churches in our area like Palo Alto, MV, Los Altos, etc…

    your fellow bro/worker,
    Thomas Shou

    Comment by thomaslucy | August 15, 2011 | Reply

  4. Right now our closest house churches are in San Jose to your location. We have others in Santa Cruz and Monterey.

    Comment by gschwend | August 15, 2011 | Reply

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